Vellutata di Cannellini e Porcini

Serves 4

150g Dried Cannellini Beans
400g small fresh Porcini (ceps)
60g Butter
1 Whole Clove of Garlic
Salt and Pepper
500ml Vegetable Stock
40ml of Double Cream
50g of Parmesan (optional), freshly grated

This word is borrowed from the French (veloute), which means a soup with a velvety consistence. Passata would be more Italian but since the French borrow Italian culinary terminology why not do the reverse? The cep or porcino is the king of wild mushroom, and is available fresh only during its brief season.

Soak the dried cannellini beans in water over night. Drain, then add to a large saucepan, cover with fresh water, bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 ½ -2 hours drain.

Clean the porcini carefully, brushing off any dust, and checking inside the stems for any unwelcome visitors. Cut the mushrooms and stems into slices. Sauté the porcini in the butter with garlic for 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan and discard, then season to taste.

Put the stock in a pan, add the cannellini beans and porcini and cook for a few minutes. Season, then add the double cream and liquidise in a food processor to obtain a velvety structure. Pour into serving bowls and, sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired


In place of the porcini, cook 300g button mushrooms in the same way, then add 20g rehydrated dried porcini mushrooms (see page 102) and cook for a further 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, then add the stock, and process as before.


This recipe is from Antonio Carluccio’s Simple Cooking